Fahrenheit Consortium Is Lead Bidder in Bankruptcy Auction for Celsius Assets

The assets include a loan portfolio, mining rigs and infrastrsucture and cryptocurrency worth as much as $2 billion.

AccessTimeIconMay 17, 2023 at 5:30 p.m. UTC
Updated May 17, 2023 at 5:35 p.m. UTC

A consortium named Fahrenheit, which includes venture capital firm Arrington Capital and miner U.S. Bitcoin Corp, is the lead bidder in the auction for bankrupt lender Celsius's $2 billion of assets, according to a Wednesday hearing.

NovaWulf, an investment firm which was founded by the duo behind bitcoin miner TeraWulf (WULF), was the original bidder, known as the stalking horse, which set base terms for the auction. The process could be wrapped up as soon as this week.

The assets include Celsius’s mining unit, its loan portfolio, staked cryptocurrency, and other alternative investments, according to court filings.

Fahrneheit is backed by Arrington Capital, U.S. Data Mining Group, Inc. (known as U.S. Bitcoin Corp.), investment firm Proof Group Capital Management, former Algogrand CEO Steven Kokinos, and investment banker Ravi Kaza. It is formalized as a limited liability company.

Coinbase (COIN) is also involved in the bid, said Michael Arrington, founder of the synonymus VC firm, in a now-deleted tweet reported by Fortune. Arrington is also the founder of tech media site TechCrunch and information platform Crunchbase.

The two bids share similarities. Crucially, Fahrenheit plans to issue equity for the assets that will be managed under the new company, whereas Novawulf planned to tokenize the shares on the Providence blockchain.

"Our bid not structured as a simple asset purchase. We are proposing that the assets be placed into a new company and is run with the sole goal of growing those assets to make stakeholders whole," Arrington said in a tweet announcing the Fahrenheit project.

Another bid was made by another consortium which includes Van Eck Absolute Return Advisers Corporation, decentralized finance firm Global X Digital and Gemini Trust Company.

Judge Martin Glenn expressed concerns that the process might hit a "regulatory roadblock" and compared it to Voyager, another crypto firm that went bankrupt last year. The Celsius legal team sought to reassure the judge, citing ongoing discussions with regulatory authorities.

A sale of $1 billion of Voyager's assets to Binance was abruptly terminated following pushback from regulators.

Proof Group's Managing Director Noah Jessop has also invested in bankrupt bitcoin miner Core Scientific (CORZ), according to his Twitter bio, which is both in its own Chapter 11 bankruptcy and in a dispute with Celsius.

Edited by Nikhilesh De.


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Eliza Gkritsi

Eliza Gkritsi is a CoinDesk contributor focused on the intersection of crypto and AI.